David Warren

David Warren is a Canadian journalist who writes mostly on international affairs. His Web site is www.davidwarrenonline.com.

recent articles

Consider the Hummingbird

I have a couple of friends who live in an Ontario swamp — by choice, surrounded by nature at its most intense, at least at this latitude. It is cool and comfortable in there during the summer. No mosquito problem, for instance: The frogs, fish, and birds that flourish over, around, and under their house … Read more

Understanding Caritas in Veritate

I was struck once — struck and annoyed — with a vagrant remark made to me by the Canadian philosopher George Grant (1918-1988). It came up in a conversation about Vietnam. He was using such terms as "technology" and "hegemony," which he’d employed elsewhere more abstractly in condemnation of the whole modern world, in pedestrian … Read more

Thinking as a Catholic on Iran

How should Catholics think about Iran? And how should a Catholic think about Iran? These are two different questions, as an individual person and the Church are two different things, but in trying to follow the news recently, partly through electronic “tweets” directly from Iran, including those from one anonymous Catholic Persian we have on … Read more

Servile Thinking

  As I was saying to an old friend the other day, as we passed a crowded hamburger franchise: "Look at all the rugged individualists, lining up for their Big Macs! Look at all those freethinkers!"   It was a doubly uncharitable remark. First, our whole society has not gone over to dogmatic atheist fundamentalism. … Read more

Shrove Tuesday

The marvelous thing about penitence is you don’t have to be particularly guilty to enjoy it. I write “particularly,” of course, out of anxiety to cover my theological position: We are all “generally” or “originally” guilty, all born into the heritage of Adam, and unquestionably needful of Christ’s redeeming grace. But penitence is not punishment, … Read more


A great and growing difficulty for the Catholic Church, and all her faithful, is the disintegration of modern languages. Words used through centuries to connote deep meanings — not incomprehensible, but superficially complex — come to mean less and less. The glib use of a word such as “prophecy,” to mean only a prediction of … Read more


  Several years ago, I picked a fight with some Darwinist or other. This was in print, as part of my day job as a newspaper pundit, I hasten to add: No humans were injured in the making of this controversy. I must have had a lot of time on my hands, for the time … Read more

Into the Purple

Among my most vivid memories of my father is being with him in Toronto, nearly 40 years ago, in the moments before he delivered a speech to a design convention. We were having coffee in the Colonnade, my beloved father and I. He had of course written his speech, which was supposed to be about … Read more

Bishops, North of the Border

Up here in Canada, from where I am writing, the prime minister called an election on September 7, and we had it on October 14. By the common consent of the five major parties, there was no discussion whatever of abortion, gay marriage, “human rights” tribunals, or any other of the civilizational issues that are, … Read more

Voting with the Tribe

Had her family not joined the Wasilla Assembly of God when she was four years old, Sarah Palin would most likely be today — together with her adversaries Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, etc. — one of America’s most prominent Catholic politicians. She was, after all, baptized by a Catholic priest — … Read more

The Gold

  I do not own a television set, I do not like the cynicism of the Olympic organization, and I’m put off by propaganda spectacles in totalitarian countries. From this, the gentle reader may infer my opinion of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Add to this the fact I am Canadian — we don’t win … Read more

Catholic Art

  “Don’t talk to me about those idiots, cluttering the fields with their easels. Had I the authority of a tyrant, I’d order the police to shoot them all down.” This was Edgar Degas, speaking less about the then-contemporary rage for landscape painting than about the ideals of the Impressionists. He was, to understate the case, … Read more

Protestants Today

As readers of this column may recall, I am not a cradle Catholic. Verily, the descendant of pointed Methodists and Calvinists, there was nothing outwardly natural about my reception into the Church a few years ago. For I look out — from over boxes of family archives that I have recently inherited — at my … Read more

The Pope Versus the Media

Given limited space, let us begin by taking the case for media bias as proved. Also, the direction of the bias. No Catholic in his right mind (okay, I’m already being selective) could possibly imagine the Mainstream Media (MSM) to be sympathetic to Catholic interests — even when they are juxtaposed with the interests of … Read more

Defining Marriage

"And God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." I cite the Masoretic text of this famous passage from the first chapter in Genesis, for it is the more poetic, and it conveys something of the dance of complementary opposites — the … Read more


Faith, Hope, and Charity are what the Church teaches, urbi et orbi, from day to day to cities and worlds embittering themselves by their attempts to deny Christ. But what first attracted me to Catholic teaching, from far off when I was young and still un-Christian, was the teaching on Reason. This wasn’t the church … Read more

Against Pluralism

While reading recently the third edition of After Virtue by the great living philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, I was struck once again by the notion of the “philosophia perennis.” This is the notion that there is one, and only one, recurring and inevitable set of mutually dependent universal truths on the nature of man, and of … Read more

Christmas Gift

Children are different from adults; better in some ways, worse in others. In my own later childhood, my favorite words of taunt and abuse to my contemporaries were, “Grow up!” I was an atheist by then; the phrase was never meant as an allusion to 1 Corinthians 13:11. But I was still thinking as a … Read more

The Uses and Abuses of Paranoia

  In my daily newspaper columns, I have recently tried the experiment of writing directly about the postmodern explosion of scientism. This pertains to discussions of global warming, intelligent design, political correctness, and many other things — but it goes much deeper. Had I a book to fill (and perhaps I do), I would follow … Read more

The New Old

Four years have now passed since I brought an end, all of a sudden, to 20 years of thinking about becoming a Catholic, and under the impression (which I retain) that I had been simply instructed to do so by Mother Mary. This was while witnessing, but not exactly participating in, a Novus Ordo Mass … Read more

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